For Asian cultures, the Lunar New Year holiday marks a fresh start on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Most people are aware of traditions such as giving children money, honoring ancestors, and having parties and festivities, but lesser-known are rituals meant to set the tone for the coming months, including house cleaning, buying new shoes and clothing, and surrounding oneself with the good people and the kind of positive energy they’d like to see as the year progresses. Here’s a few ways to do that and celebrate as well.
Marking the year of the mouse (OK rat, whatever) — Disneyland’s Lunar New Year festivities have taken over its California Adventure Park for 24 days straight. Offering live entertainment, festive food, mouse merch and Asian decor throughout the park, it also features Disney characters in Lunar New Year attire. Mulan gets her moment in the spotlight (before her live-action flick comes out no less) and we hear Mickey and Minnie will be rocking some ornate silks for photo ops, both helming fun activities for the families and culture freaks alike. Disneyland, 1313 Disneyland Drive, Anaheim; admission prices vary. disneyland.disney.go.com/
Chinatown’s 121st celebration of Lunar New Year features its beautiful Golden Dragon Parade (starting at the intersection of Hill and Ord Streets), plus entertainment stages, food and vendors. Chinatown Central Plaza, 943-951 N. Broadway, Chinatown; Sat., Feb. 1st , noon-8 p.m.; free. chinatownla.com/wp1/event/chinese-new-year-festival-parade-3/
The Beverly Hills Visitors Bureau and the city of Beijing present Happy Chinese New Year, Charming Jing-Jin-Ji with performance groups direct from China, deals at local restaurants and hotels, themed storefronts and more lavish festivities in and around the ritzy shopping mecca. Locations vary, see website for details. lovebeverlyhills.com/articles/view/beverly-hills-celebrates-chinese-new-year.